Lin, Knicks rally to beat Wolves
In his first three starts, Jeremy Lin’s out-of-nowhere emergence all but saved the New York Knicks’ season.
In his fourth, his teammates returned the favor.
Lin hit a free throw with 4.9 seconds left to overcome a dreadful second half and lift the Knicks to their fifth straight victory, 100-98, over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night in Minneapolis.
Steve Novak scored 15 points, including the tying 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play and Lin used his quickness to draw a foul and get to the line in the closing seconds. He finished with 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Lin had just 5 points on 1-for-13 shooting and four turnovers in the second half. But Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert combined for 39 points on 17-for-26 shooting to keep an exhausted Lin in position for one final push.
“It was an ugly one, it was a gutsy one, it was a road win, everybody was tired,’’ Lin said. “That’s the beauty of basketball. That’s the beauty of our time. We never gave up.’’
Kevin Love had 32 points and 21 rebounds for the Wolves, who missed two chances to win in the final five seconds.
The Knicks trailed by 7 with 6:41 to play and it looked as if a week of Tebow-like hype was finally catching up to Lin. His shot selection was erratic, his ball-handling was sloppy and his jersey was drenched with sweat as fired-up Wolves fans chanted “Over-rated!’’
But the Wolves scored a season-low 11 points and missed 16 of their 19 shots in the fourth quarter to let the Knicks hang around, and Lin managed to find the energy for one final drive to the basket.
Fields hit a short jumper to make the score 94-93 with 2:10 to go and Shumpert added another for a 95-94 lead with 1:22 to go to give the Knicks their first lead since early in the second quarter.
But Love hit two free throws and Ricky Rubio drove to the rim for a left-handed layup for a three-point lead with 39 seconds to play.
Novak’s 3-pointer tied it at 98 on the next possession and Lin drew a foul from Luke Ridnour to get to the line. He missed the front end of a pair of free throws before sinking the go-ahead shot.
Mavericks 97, Trail Blazers 94 - Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points, Jason Terry added 19, and host Dallas won its third in a row, a double-overtime thriller over Portland.
Former Dallas-area high school star LaMarcus Aldridge had 33 points, 15 during a fourth-quarter rally, and Jamal Crawford contributed 19 points for the Trail Blazers.
Delonte West hit an 11-footer for Dallas to open the second overtime. West later converted jumpers on consecutive possessions to give Dallas a 93-89 advantage with 2:55 left.
Spurs 103, Nets 89 - Gary Neal scored 18 points, and Tim Duncan had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season as visiting San Antonio won its seventh straight.
San Antonio was bolstered by the return of sixth man Manu Ginobili. The Argentinean guard had not played in 22 games after suffering a fractured metacarpal last month. Ginobili scored 8 points and had four assists in 17 minutes.
Clippers 111, Bobcats 86 - Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan all had double-doubles after three quarters as visiting Los Angeles handed dreadful Charlotte yet another lopsided loss.
Magic 99, Bucks 94 - Jason Richardson scored 28 of his season-high 31 points in the second half and made nine 3-pointers to lead visiting Orlando over Milwaukee.
76ers 99, Cavaliers 84 - Jrue Holliday scored 20 points to lead six players in double figures as Philadelphia broke a season-high two-game losing streak by rolling over host Cleveland.
Nuggets 113, Pacers 109 - Ty Lawson scored 27 points to help Denver snap a five-game losing streak by holding back Indiana in Indianapolis.
Suns 98, Kings 84 - Jared Dudley had 20 points and 10 rebounds for visiting Phoenix, which never trailed in defeating Sacramento.